THE WESTON PRICE DIETARY PROGRAM
by Dr. Lawrence Wilson
© March 2017, L.D. Wilson Consultants, Inc.
Weston Price, DDS, was a brilliant dentist who lived about 100 years ago. He toured the world searching for the healthiest human populations, in part to test some theories about nutrition, and also just out of sheer curiosity.
He was a careful researcher, and was fascinated by the varied diets and lifestyles of the tribes he heard about and sought out around the world. He studied their dental health, their diets, their child-rearing practices, and even their beliefs to try to find out what made them so healthy. He also studied less healthy tribes, and modernized tribes, and was able to compare their diets and lifestyles.
For example, he was amazed that he found no vegetarian groups that were extremely healthy. All the healthiest tribes used animal products. He only found two of the healthiest groups that used dairy products (Switzerland and North Africa), always eaten raw. Dr. PriceÕs main book, Nutrition And Physical Degeneration, as well as his other writings, stand today as classic nutritional research.
WESTON PRICE DIET TODAY
Today, Dr. PriceÕs work is being promoted by the Price-Pottenger Nutrition Foundation (PPNF), which makes sure his book is always in print. A second organization, the Weston Price Foundation, publishes a journal and has over 500 local chapters to promote Dr. PriceÕs work.
Unfortunately, in our view, this group now promotes nutritional ideas that Dr. Price never advocated, and which are harmful. Among these are:
1) Eating a lot of fermented foods. Dr. Price never recommended this. He observed that groups ate fermented foods, but of course they had no refrigeration, so they had little choice in the matter. There is nothing wrong with some sauerkraut or yogurt, but the Weston Price Foundation goes far beyond this. This is discussed in more detail later in this article.
2) Eating a very high-fat diet. This is causing cancer, in our view. How much fat to eat is discussed later in this article.
Another issue regarding Dr. PriceÕs work is that agriculture is completely different today an it was 100 years ago when Dr. price lived and worked.
CHANGES IN AGRICULTURE, THE ENVIRONMENT AND IN DIETARY SCIENCE REQUIRES CHANGES IN DR. PRICEÕS RECOMMENDATIONS
Dr. PriceÕs excellent research was completed over 100 years ago. The purpose of this article is to examine the teachings of Weston Price in light of much newer research using hair mineral analysis. We find that a number of Dr. PriceÕs excellent recommendations just do not work well today, and need to be modified due to shifts in agriculture and in society that have taken place over the past 100 years. These important alterations include:
1. Development of the atomic bomb and atomic energy. This has increased the exposure of all people on earth to much higher dosages of ionizing radiation. Sources include A-bomb tests, low level emissions from nuclear power plants, and much greater use of medical and dental x-rays. The main effect is to make the bodies much weaker and more yin in Chinese medical terminology. Cooking more of your food helps offset this more yin condition, although it does not solve the problem completely.
2. Widespread use of superphosphate fertilizers, hybrid seeds and modern pesticides and insecticides to grow and raise most of our food. Superphosphate fertilizers definitely have a stimulating effect on plants, which is not all bad. Superphosphates, plus the use of hybrid seeds and pesticides, have allowed much higher crop yields that feed many more people. However, the food is far lower in minerals, vitamins, protein and other nutrients in most cases. This is well-documented in the records from 50 and even 100 years ago of the US Department of Agriculture.
3. Much greater use of processed foods. This has also contributed to far worse nutrition in almost everyone.
4. The widespread use of corn and perhaps other grains instead of hay and pasturing to feed chickens, cows, sheep and other livestock. This has been helpful in some ways, but it has contributed to much lower levels of omega-3 fatty acids in the meat, eggs, and dairy products, even if they are unpasteurized and unhomogenized.
5. Far higher levels of toxic metals and toxic chemicals in the food, air, water and on products we touch or have other direct contact with. This has caused much worse toxic metal and toxic chemical poisoning in the entire population, compared to 100 years ago. It also makes the bodies much more yin.
6. A much faster-paced lifestyle in most people thanks to electrification, modern communications.
7. Much more electromagnetic stress on the bodies due to the use of flat-screen televisions, computers, cell phones and other devices that emit microwaves and other electromagnetic fields. These also make the bodies more yin in Chinese terminology.
8. New ways to preserve food that are fabulous, but can allow pathogens to grow. This, plus the transportation of food long distances, makes eating raw meats, eggs and even vegetables and fruits much less healthful today.
These total effect of the changes above are:
1. A much slower oxidation rate in most people
2. Much worse digestion in most people, even children.
3. A reduced ability to resist many types of diseases, allowing epidemics of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, ADD and other serious conditions that were either non-existent or were practically unknown 100 years ago.
In light of this, let us now discuss several of the Weston Price Foundation recommendations, with some changes I suggest.
NUTRITION VERSUS DEVELOPMENT
This website promotes development. This is a precise but largely unknown science of the growth of the Human Energy Centers and the Merkabah. A side effect of development is much better health and longevity.
Development, today, involves a lot of nutrition, but it is not the same as nutritional healing systems such as the Weston Price approach. Improved nutrition is just part of development. It is needed, today, because the food supply is mineral-depleted, and the bodies are all starving for minerals, as a result. Without the nutritional aspect, development does not occur today.
This was not the case in the past. For example, living the teachings in the Bible is an older developmental path. It contains relatively little about nutrition because the food was of much better quality several thousand years ago. For details about development, read Introduction To Development and other articles about this subject on this site.
THE WESTON PRICE DIETARY SUGGESTIONS, IN LIGHT OF THE ABOVE
We are very grateful to Dr. Price for his work. However, below are the changes to the Weston Price diet that we have found necessary today in order for people to develop, which is the goal of the teaching on this website.
1. Avoid fermented cod liver oil and no high vitamin butter oil. These are not needed and not helpful, especially any fermented product like this. I know all the hype about them and I do not agree with it at all.
1A. Avoid wheat. In my clinical experience, wheat has been so hybridized and genetically altered that it is sadly no longer a healthful food. It is much higher in glutamine today, and lower in protein, for example, among other changes. Today wheat is an irritating and allergenic food for most people. This is equally true of organically grown whole wheat and even most spelt, a grain that is very similar to wheat.
Until we can return to heirloom seeds from at least 50 years ago, it is best to avoid wheat in all foods and in all forms. This includes avoiding sprouted wheat breads, for example, and avoiding all spelt products as well, which can be a little better than wheat, but are often similar.
While some people can still tolerate wheat, overall I find it best to avoid.
2. Do not eat much beef. Lamb is often better. Beef cattle are a very hybridized species today, even the grass-fed, organically raised beef cattle. While efforts are underway to bring back heirloom varieties of cattle, one is rarely sure what cows are being raised. Even if you can get heirloom beef, eat some lamb as well.
Other excellent animal proteins include chicken, turkey and good quality eggs and some raw dairy products.
3. At least 70% of your diet each day should be cooked vegetables. Dr. Price recommended that most vegetables be cooked. The need for so many cooked vegetables is an empirical finding. Vegetables offer literally hundreds of phytonutrients that offset the pollution and provide protection from cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and many other ailments, and have the ability to rebuild the body better than any other food. They also provide healthful fiber and a wide range of vitamins and minerals that are hard to obtain in any other way, including pills and drinks.
As for cooking most or all vegetables, I know this is upsetting to some people. However, Weston Price advocated cooking vegetables, as this is what he observed. Some have altered his teaching in this area. Advantages of cooking vegetables include:
a. Cooking breaks down the tough fiber in vegetables, allowing us to absorb many more nutrients from the vegetables. It is true that it damages some vitamins such as vitamin C, but it does not destroy it all if vegetables are just steamed at low termperature for 10-15 minutes. I find that everyone who eats a lot of salad, for example, tends to demineralize the body after a few years.
b. Cooking vegetables concentrates the food, allowing one to consume far more of green vegetables such as spinach and other greens.
c. Cooked vegetables are far more yang in Chinese medical terminology, and this is extremely important for overall health today, even if cooking destroys a few nutrients. Yin and yang qualities of foods is a somewhat esoteric concept that dates back to traditional Chinese medicine and macrobiotics, an even older science related to Taoism and Tibetan medicine. For more information about it, read Yin And Yang Healing and Yin Disease.
d. Many raw vegetables are simply unclean today, as they are grown in many nations. This can cause parasitic and other problem, especially when eating in restaurants.
Vegetables to avoid. I find that it is best to avoid the nightshade family, which are irritating and somewhat toxic. These include eggplant, all tomatoes, red and white potatoes, and all peppers. Others to limit or avoid are okra, cucumbers, lettuce, summer squashes, and all salad vegetables, unless they are cooked.
Eating 70-80% cooked vegetables indeed requires some practice and work, at first. One must include vegetables with most every meal. However, it pays wonderful dividends for your health.
4. Avoid most fermented or cultured foods. Dr. Price never advocated eating fermented foods in the strong way that the Weston Price Foundation recommends them. These foods include miso, natto, yogurt, kefir, kvass, sauerkraut, and some others.
Those who advocate fermented foods say they help acidify the stomach and intestines, help maintain the normal flora of the intestines, preserve some foods like dairy products, and produce some vitamins and minerals that improve nutrition.
I find that some fermented food such as cheese, yogurt, kefir and miso are good, and can be eaten several times a week. However, the others are not as good in my clinical experience. Possible reasons for this are:
a. Most people today have a very slow oxidation rate, which was not the case 100 years ago. For this reason, everyone is prone to yeast infections in the intestines. Ferments of all kinds are yeasts, and they do not seem to work as well with many of our clients today. The exception, once again, are fermented milk products such as yogurt.
b. Also, fermented foods are very yin in Chinese medical terms. As explained above, this is a serious drawback today, but it was not a problem when Weston Price lived and wrote his books.
c. Some ferments including sauerkraut produce some aldehydes that can build up in the liver. Beer and wine are not the only foods that can produce aldehydres. For more on this topic, read Fermented Foods on this website.
5. Cook all foods, except for raw dairy products, which should be eaten in their natural raw state, if possible. Meat and eggs should only be lightly cooked, however, as longer cooking will denature the proteins too much and damage the delicate fats.
Dr Price advised cooking most meats and vegetables. He also suggested eating some raw animal products. I find that today raw fruits and vegetables are much too yin, the human digestive tract cannot extract enough minerals from raw vegetables, and there are other problems with raw foods except for raw dairy. Dairy, however, is still very yin, so limit milk intake, for example, to 8 ounces or so daily, and limit the intake of all raw dairy products to 6 ounces or so of cheese or yogurt daily. More is just too yin. For more about this important topic, read Raw Foods on this website.
Today, meats that are raw are often unclean and harbor parasite eggs, most of which are killed by cooking.
I also find that eggs should be lightly cooked with the yolk remaining runny, unless you know that the egg is without infections of any kind.
6. Avoid most or all fruit and all fruit juices. I know this is difficult for some people, but it is very important. Dr. Price observed that many tribes ate some fruit, although they did not live on it. My clinical experience is that fruit is causing many health problems today and is not a necessary or helpful food today. The problems seem to be due to:
1. Fruit is a very yin food, and the bodies are already too yin today,
2. Most fruits are hybrids and are less nutritious than in the past.
3. The sugars in fruit seem to upset the blood sugar and feed yeast in the intestines of almost everyone who eats it. This was not a problem as much 100 years ago at all.
4. Many so-called organic fruits are still sprayed with somewhat toxic chemicals because otherwise they will not grow well in Northern climates
5. The mineral balance of the fruit seems to be improper for todayÕs bodies. In particular, a potassium compound in fruits is toxic. I know this because when people begin a nutritional balancing program, especially babies and children, they soon expel a form of potassium that seem to be associated with having eaten a lot of fruit, or their mothers ate fruit while pregnant. This is a shame, but it is my experience.
6. Many people seem unable to neutralize the acids found naturally in fruits. As a result, the fruit actually has an acidic reaction in the body. Its high sugar content contributes to this as well.
For more on this important and sad situation, read Fruit-Eating on this website.
7. Avoid all shellfish and most fish, except very small ones such as sardines, are not healthful foods today. One hundred year ago fish and some shellfish were very healthful foods. Today, they are almost all contaminated with mercury and other toxic metals. This is very unfortunate, but we see high levels of toxic metals in anyone who eats any fish or worse, shellfish except for very small fish like sardines. This includes wild caught salmon and other wild-caught fish.
The mercury content of the oceans, lakes and streams has increased drastically due to burning coal and other industries such as paper-making, that were much less when Dr. Price lived.
Also, the toxic metal content of the coastal waters has increased drastically over the past 100 years due to dumping of sewage and industrial waste in almost all nations on earth. This is also a shame, but it is very important to know about.
I strongly recommend eating 3 to 4 cans of sardines each week. These seem to be healthful – any brand of sardines – because they are so small they do not accumulate much mercury, and they are generally wild caught rather than farm-raised. I have observed no problems eating the sardines from a can, although fresh would be nice if they were available.
Other very small fish such as anchovies, smelt and herring are also generally fine, but are often larger than sardines, and have a lower omega-3 and vitamin D content, so they are not quite as good. I suggest avoiding all other fish and especially shellfish or seafood.
8. All pig products today may contain parasite eggs. This is another shame, but we find that all pork, ham, bacon, lard, sausage made with pig intestines and other products from the pig often contains parasite larva or eggs, such as tapeworm, trichina worms or others. This has to do with general pollution of the waters, and how animals and other foods are raised today. It does not matter if the pig products are well-cooked, it seems. They still contain live eggs and can infect the brain and other organs easily. Also be careful to avoid egg rolls and other places that pig products are hidden.
The only safe pig product I have encountered is porcine pancreas that is used in supplementary digestive aids such as GB-3. This is probably because the high pancreatic enzyme content of this particular organ kills the trichina worms and their ova safely.
Dr. Price found that many traditional cultures ate pork, particularly in the South Seas. It was considered a sacred food, and was always consumed cooked. Sadly, today I cannot recommend it.
9. Cod liver oil, while a very good product, does not provide enough vitamin D or omega-3 fatty acids today. Dr. Price recommended high vitamin cod liver oil to obtain vitamins A and D, and omega-3 fatty acids. However, I find that today the bodies are so deficient in omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D that a lot of cod liver oil is needed to provide enough of these essential nutrients.
Eating 3 or 4 cans of sardines each week, however, is a way to obtain omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D, a digestible form of calcium, RNA and DNA and many other vital nutrients. Put some mustard, relish, hot sauce or mayonnaise with your sardines if your donÕt like them.
If you wonÕt eat sardines, then be sure to take a supplement with about 800-900 mg of omega-e fatty acids (a combination of EPA and DHA) and about 3000-5000 iu of vitamin D daily. This seems to be roughly what the bodies require today.
10. Soaking grains to destroy enzyme inhibitors, trypsin inhibitors and other anti-nutrients is not needed. Dr. Price never discussed soaking grains. However, the Weston Price Foundation strongly recommends soaking grains, seeds and nuts. Soaking grains and nuts makes them more digestible, allowing more people to eat them.
The problem is that soaking makes a food much more yin. It can also allow mold to begin growing on the food. While soaking seeds overnight is okay, I suggest using a digestive aid to overcome the anti-nutrients in most grains. Some groups that have eaten grains for thousands of years such as the Japanese, Chinese, Middle Eastern people and others do not soak their grains and do just fine.
Also, I do not suggest eating many nuts or seeds, as both these foods are extremely yin in any condition, so they are less healthful today, although they are quite nutritious. An exception is toasted or even a little raw almond butter. A small amount of other nut and seed butters are okay as well, but not much of them. This is also unfortunate, but that is our experience.
Most people do not chew nuts and seeds well enough, and have very weak digestion. Therefore, if you want some nuts, for example, have some toasted almond butter or a little sunflower butter, which are excellent foods for most people when eaten in very small amounts.
All peanut butter may contain some aflatoxin, a deadly poison, even if it is fresh and natural. It is also quite a sweet food and somewhat yin, as are all beans, seeds and nuts.
11. Do not eat much coconut or palm oils, or not other coconut products. Some Weston Price followers embrace coconut products because they are rich in lauric acid and other nutrients, and are stable for cooking purposes, especially.
The problem is that coconut and palm are tropical or sub-tropical fruits that are extremely yin. They seem to be toxic today for that reason, no matter what other positive nutritional value they have. Preferably avoid them all and use olive oil, butter, and beef or chicken fat for cooking and other uses.
12. Stay away from all sugars and sweets, even natural sweets such as raw, uncooked honey, natural maple syrup, natural agave nectar, rice bran syrup, almond milk, soy milks, rice milks and other sweets. These are all extremely yin and will unbalance body chemistry badly. The less one eats of any of them, the better.
13. Limit raw milk consumption to about 4 ounces daily for an adult, and about the same amount or less for children. This is also an important recommendation today. While raw milk is a wonderful food, it is quite sweet and yin. Too much is not healthful today for this sole reason.
14. Do not eat many nuts or seeds. While these are healthful foods, they are extremely yin and somewhat hard to digest. Soaking them makes them even more yin. Some toasted almond butter is an excellent addition to any diet, and a little of other nut or seed butters such as sunflower seed butter or tahini or sesame butter are okay, but not that important and not needed for this reason.
15. Most people can eat some whole grains daily, as long as they are well-cooked and not in excess. Foods such as brown rice, especially Basmati rice, quinoa, millet, rye, oats, barley, and especially blue corn are good foods if you can digest them.
16. Avoid or eat a minimum of raw salads. I find that people cannot extract enough minerals from raw vegetables today, even if you take a digestive aid, which I always suggest. The digestive tracts are in very poor shape in all cases, even children. Also, raw vegetables are very yin, and in restaurants usually they are not that clean. You will get enough fiber from cooked vegetables, even when they are not crunchy, which is best.
Eating salads just fills up your stomach and takes up room that is needed for cooked vegetables, some whole grains, some animal protein daily, and some raw dairy. Cook all vegetables.
17. Everyone needs at least a few food supplements. Dr. Price did not recommend many food supplements other than cod liver oil. However, please recall that at the time Dr. Price lived, the nutrient content of our food was much better, the average personÕs digestion was hundreds of times more powerful, and the bodies were far healthier in terms of energy, mineral content and more. Also, and very importantly, chelated minerals had not been developed, and many other food supplements were simply not available.
I wish supplements were not needed, but I find that they are always needed, by everyone today. At least, I have not run into a single one of our clients or anyone else who I find is so well nourished that they would not benefit from a animal-derived digestive aid, kelp for iodine and minerals, and supplemental calcium, magnesium, zinc, often selenium, and fish oil and vitamin D in most cases.
Most people need even more than this, for at least a few years to build up their digestion, to eliminate toxic metals and chemicals from the body, and for other reasons such as to balance the mineral ratios in the body.
18. Exercise caution with the recommendations found in any older books – even the great ones such as those of Dr. Price. The situation in our food supply has changed so drastically in the past 50 years or so, and even more so in the past 25 years, that some older recommendations in books about acupuncture, macrobiotics, raw foods and other texts just donÕt work as well. It is true our genetics and basic nutritional requirements have not changed, so many of the lessons of Dr. Price still apply.
THE WESTON PRICE SYNDROME
This is a curious phenomenon that I am still researching. It consists of a person going into four lows pattern and staying there when one follows a Weston Price type of diet. For more, please read The Weston Price Syndrome.
This article is not intended to diminish in any way the amazing contribution of Dr. Weston Price or other researchers. Nor is it intended to oppose the excellent work that is being done by the Price-Pottenger Nutrition Foundation and the Weston Price Foundation to educate the public, bring back raw dairy products, and popularize the work of Dr. Weston Price.
We all owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to Dr. Price. I believe he would appreciate the updating of his work based on the drastic changes in our bodies and our food supply that have occurred in the past 100 years since he lived.